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The Power of a Voice

By on February 9, 2004 in Personal Thoughts

Have you ever sat done and thought about what it meant to be able to speak? Just for a moment. Considered what we take for granted every day of our lives, the ability to communicate. Whether it’s just having a conversation with a close friend, or speaking in front of a crowded room. Our voices make a difference in this world, when we use them. I’ll start with a simple example we’d rather not think about… talking a friend out of suicide. Alot of us have considered it, maybe not seriously, but at some point, things probably got down and it seemed like a viable idea, for a moment.. When those close to us have these thoughts, for longer than a moment, we have a voice to tell them, that they shouldn’t, not because we can give them a good reason. There’s alot of not-so-good ones, that we hold to though. Sometimes we use religion as a reason not to. Truth is, we just know that the person needs somebody to be there, so they don’t feel so alone anymore, and maybe just maybe, they’ll come around. Though, the power of a voice, can also drive somebody to action… it’s called, inciting a riot, if it’s a large group… If it’s between two people, it could be causing a fight, on the negaitve side… On the postitive side, you can give encouragement, that yes, somebody can do something.. that the goal they set for themselves is reachable. If it’s a group, then it’s probably to promote a common cause. to raise awareness of something wrong in the world. We know there’s so many things wrong with the world… each of us notices some of them, some of us notice more than others. I feel like I notice more than the people around me. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to even look outside, and face a world that seems so cold and harsh most of the time. We do though. I do and you do.. at least I hope you do.
People sometimes waste their voice, by using it to cause harm, singling out a person in a group, to pick on for being different, whether it’s because they’re smart, dumb, their race, sex, or sexual desires, or maybe it’s because of a ethical or religous view. Intolerance is one of the biggest problems that plague our soceity today. Some may call it fear, fear of something different, fear of no longer having the status quo. That they may lose their person who’s different, and not have somebody to compare to, to say “I’m better than you because i’m ___________” (you fill in the blank). Others just say, to change in this way or that way is wrong. Wrong because they don’t agree? To disagree does not make it wrong. It makes it, not your opinion.
In our soceity, we’re bombarded daily with voices… so many voices… Whether it’s a TV anchor telling you the horrors and joys of your local hometown. A commerical for the latest product you probably don’t really need to make your life better, but just should want it, because the people on TV say so. (or maybe because somebody fed their family or themselves by working on making it. They never mention that? How often do you pick up something and think, I wonder who made it, and what were they like? ) If you listen to the radio, you’re probably hearing voices, and melodies.. Whether it’s a song, or the DJ who might be in your town or in New York or Los Angeles telling you about your local shops and what’s gonna be played next. It all starts to lose it’s character. It becomes, life… It’s not personal, it’s… just there, sterile, and feelingless. Sometimes monotonous. We have the technology to connect us in ways we never before imagined, to share our voice with others… Cell Phones, Computers, the interenet, even older technologies like the TV and the Radio… Some of these things it’s obvious to see how they can connect you.. others, it may not be so easy.
The Cell Phone enables us to speak to a friend or somebody we know whereever we happen to be, it;s like a lifeline of communication, some people never go anywhere without it. We take them to an extreme though, to the point that a good thing becomes a bad, they’re talked on while driving, endangering others lives on the road, they ring in restraunts and movie theaters, when you ask youself, why can’t that person llive without it for a little while? If they’re alone, you can understand, but when they’re with somebody, you must wonder, if they value that person, and if they do, have they taken them for granted, that they’ll always be there when they get done with whatever they happen to be doing.
Computers and the Internet, enable interconnection in a seemingly cold way. Though, it connects us with people that you otherwise would never meet. There are those people out there who say that the internet is bad, that all it is, is a porn ridden wasteland of filth. I believe you get what you look for out of it. If you’re looking for filth, for whatever reason you’re going to find it. If you’re looking for friends, you’ll find them. There’s boundaries, things we should not look for, but do.. and are shocked they’re there. but, would they be there, if people didn’t look for them?
TV… so many places to go with it… it’s a breading ground for ideas, a way to communicate feelings, through artistry, or a way to transmit mediocrity to the masses… with things like Reality TV which are so far from real reality, that it’s a joke that nobody laughs at. At the same time, there are shows and movies that can inspire or enrage you, and bring you to action. Recently it’s been higlighted that people arent prepared for the unexpected, with events like the recent Superbowl halftime show and the resulting chaos. (You know what i’m talking about). So many people were shocked… that something like that could occur, it broke their delusions that it was a safe haven. and now they turn to government to save them from that broken delusion. To restore the falsity of an enviroment where the few control what’s seen. That they can hide from the world, and say, this is the world. just these parts.. and not that, that, that , or this. These people ignore things until it bites them on the ass.. Then they claim to be shocked… Are they shocked because of what happened? Yes, but it’s deeper than that, they’re shocked because they never knew it could, or didn’t want to know.. they didn’t want to know that things had changed. These are half-voices, voices who speak, but do not always know the whole thing.
The last piece of technology on my list.. the long and forgotten radio. There was a time, when people paid attention to what happened there. Now it’s turned, rapidly, into a glut of the same, no matter where you go. The art of music thrives there, but it doesn’t thrive as well as it used to. Stations are owned by fewer and fewer individuals. Stations are no longer programmed locally, where the culture and opinion of the local listener, make or break a song on that station, instead it’s national charts, and industry executives, record companies, payola schemes, under promoted new artists and over hyped lifestyles of the popular. but it’s all the same…. The radio yearns for something new and different, before it dies of boredom. The better stations are the stations that are different, they attract the attention. Instead, it’s more of the same, where stations are marketed as advertising tools.. and the art of music dies with them.
The underheard voices…
Have you ever felt like there was no platform to get how you feel out there? In our soceity we’re faced with a challenge. The underheard voices… Those of minorities who’re never noticed.. and the youth. who’re ignored, like they’re uninfluential, who’re marketed to, but not listened to. How often do you truly listen or hear a young person speak their mind on the trouble facing them? Whether it’s trouble in school, violence, or anything. There’s no outlet.
What if? You could get the youth, and a community involved, in something. local, and live.. So those views and issues get out. and get heard… It may surprise you to think, that there is a platform for this.. and it isn’t the internet… try low-power radio or low-power TV…. These stations were created in the US by the FCC to provide more localised focusing channels on the air. In theory, anybody could own one, even somebody as low-budget as a school.
Then the reality happened. Lobbyists and other corporate interest groups, afraid of the falling of their bottom line. Successfully Campaigned the FCC to alter the LPFM and LPTV service, instead of it being affordable to obtain a license for anybody, only larger non-profit organizations can even afford such a station. and to make matters worse, commericial radio stations are so heavily protected, from intereference from anything, that these little brother stations, are very restricted from using frequencies near them.
So, what could’ve been a useful service, is now, yet another unrealized ideal. Voices still unheard, still look for a way…. to be heard, to get attention, and the question remains, how long, before somebody does something drastic again to be heard?

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